Monday the 21st my daughter, 11 months, never even had a cold before, breastfed baby, on a delayed/one shot at a time vax schedule, received the Prevnar brand pneumococcol vaccination. Tuesday morning she didn't wake up until her sister woke her at 7:00, about 2.5 hours after she normally wakes. This is unusual for her, but she does usually sleep a lot after her shots.
I was at school already. Dad called me to report that dd was lethargic. I called my mom, an ER nurse, who went right over with her thermometer, expecting to find a slight fever, give her some Tylenol, and get her back to sleep. Instead, by the time seh got there, dd was almost completely nonresponsive. She held her head all the way back and to the left. Her eyes were fixed and rolled up and back. She fell backwards when they tried to sit her on the floor. My mom rushed her to the ER. On the way out the door, dd was able to pull her hat off her head.
I got to the ER about 2 hours later--I go to school in another city. When I walked in the door, she didn't look at me or respond to my voice. She was slouched against my mom, head still back, eyes fixed. When I put my face in front of her eyes she whimpered and could follow me with her eyes. She couldn't move her body. I tried to nurse her right away. Her eyes told me she understood that she wanted to nurse but she could hardly move. I put my nipple in her mouth and eventually she was able to suck, but only weakly. Her arms and legs were rigid. Her hands were usually clenched.
They started in IV, took blood, did a spinal tap, 3 xrays and 2 CAT scans and she did not move at all, but she was able to cry strongly when she was really upset. Her cry was not her own at all. At one point she responded with a small, eery smile when I did a little chin chopper game with her. She actually smiled in anticipation even. She also knew when I was holding her and relaxed a little in my arms. 3-4 hours after I arrived she was no longer able to nurse but was most relaxed when I held her like she was nursing.
She was transferred to another hospital to see a pediatric neurologist. In the ER there they found that her IV had infiltrated and had a difficult time getting a new one in. They also tried to put a catheter in for 30-40 minutes before realizing that, like most babies her age, her labia were fused. She still couldn't really move but was irate and screaming. Not crying, screaming. She began to shake like she was having a seizure but she was still screaming so it wasn't a seizure. Then she began pusturing with her legs and arms, which is typically a sign of a serious seizure. She was still screaming so they don't know what caused it. She was as stiff as a board in my arms.
Once they had the IV in they gave her some Adavan--anti-anxiety medicine. She fell asleep and slept through another stick to administer the serum for an MRI, and then through the MRI itself. They couldn't rouse her but I'm not sure how hard they tried. They admitted her to ICU. About 4-5 hours after the Adavan, she rubbed her eyes--the first time she could move her limbs--sat up and whimpered groggily. I was behind her. I called her name and she turned her body towards me and held out her arms--the first time she had responded to sound. I nursed her and she nursed well until she fell asleep. She nursed in her sleep until 4am, when she woke up ready to play.
They transferred her to pediatrics within a few hours. She slept a lot and was very shaky. Her fine motor skills were clumsy and she was unsteady. She seemed drugged or drunk all day. She slept most of the day. She nursed almost nonstop. The next day she woke very alert and agile. She learned to go "nighty night" on the pillow, to blow kisses, and give real hugs. She was busy and active all day. Once they released her from ICU they probably stuck her about a dozen more times over the next two days to take blood and try to get IVs. She quickly learned the routine and knew to mistrust anyone with blue gloves.
She was in the hospital for 4 days and has been home for 4 days now. She is perfect and, other than being understandably cautious of new environments and people, she is back to her old self.
The pediatric intensivist's strategy was to do every single possible test he could think of. She had an EEG along with the MRI, CAT scans and xrays, and literally every single blood and urine level were tested. She had about 7 doctors and specialists following her case and the only thing they came up with was bilateral ear infections, which were almost cleared up after the first dose of antibiotics.
Of course, every test that came back negative made my mom and I think Autism. She looked like an Autistic person and she had just had her vax the day before. But now she is back to normal. The doctors did NOT want to write it up as a vax reaction! They fought it so hard and tuned me out every time I brought it up. In fact, the last two days she was there, he told me that he didn't expect to find anything wrong, that he was only doing the tests because he didn't want to blame the vax. Although the intesivist eventually reported it to the CDC and VARS, the other pediatrician actually told me (you won't believe this) that getting her the second Prevnar could prevent this from happening in the future. She said she had never seen this kind of reaction so she refused to believe that's what it was. The CDC was adamant that we do not give her the second dose, and in fact neither of my children will ever receive vaccinations again.
After he reported it as a vaccine reaction, he assured me that the Prevnar vaccine has NO common ingredients with other vaccinations and that it is perfectly safe to continue her on the vax schedule that we were on. In fact, he told me this twice and the pediatrician repeated it once. When I got home, the first article I came across was Dr. Sears' article about aluminum in vaccines--in ALL vaccines. According to this article, aluminum is linked to neurologic degeneration and that no one actually knows the safe dose--or if there is a safe dose, for that matter--for healthy, full term infants and children.
Now I am trying to find accounts of similar reactions to vaccines. Our baby bounced back and seems to be fully recovered but of course we are worried about lasting neurologic damage that may not appear until later. If you have experienced this or something similar, please share your story with me. My email is [email protected]
. I am a journalism student but after this trauma I took this semester off to be with my family and to educate myself about vaccinations. I'm going to prepare a report for the doctors who followed my daughter's case, to present them with enough information that they are forced to see the seriousness of this issue and the dangers of their blind aceptance and faith in vaccinations.